This recipe actually came about when I was asked to participate in a food bloggers’ event. They wanted a special recipe that could be paired with a unique beer from an online beer shop. I agreed to participate because I enjoy creating special dishes. While I’m not a big beer drinker, I do love experimenting with different ingredients. Pineapple is one of those ingredients that I really enjoy, and I also have a fondness for 5-spice.

5-spice blend

Five-spice powder is a spice blend from Chinese cuisine that combines the five basic flavors of sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami. The composition of this blend can vary, but it typically includes cinnamon (or cassia), cloves, star anise, fennel seeds, and Szechuan peppercorns. Cassia is a heartier and more economical version of cinnamon. Many people probably have a jar of it tucked away in the back of their spice cabinet. These are spices that you might use occasionally, but their aroma is always delightful.

This recipe can be enjoyed in both summer and winter, but with a dark beer alongside, it’s something I particularly savor during the autumn and winter seasons. I find it especially enjoyable after spending time outdoors in the cold and wind!


  • 2 racks of spareribs

  • For the BBQ rub
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 2 tsp sesame seeds

  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

  • 1 tbsp garlic powder

  • 1 tbsp onion powder

  • 1 tbsp Chinese 5-spice powder

  • 1 tbsp ground white pepper

  • For the Pineapple BBQ sauce
  • 1 cup canned pineapple chunks

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 tbsp Chinese 5-spice powder


  • Mix all the ingredients for the rub in a bowl.
  • Remove the membrane from the spare ribs.
  • Rub the BBQ rub generously over the ribs and place them in a dish or wrap them in aluminum foil. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours to allow the marinade to soak in.
  • Prepare your BBQ for indirect heat. For charcoal BBQs, fill one half of the BBQ with charcoal and leave the other half empty. For gas BBQs, light only one side if possible. If not, cover one side with aluminum foil to divert direct heat away from the ribs.
  • When the temperature reaches approximately 150°C (300°F), place the ribs on the BBQ over the side without charcoal or direct heat. Close the lid.
  • After the ribs have been on the BBQ for one hour, blend the pineapple, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, salt, and Chinese 5-spice powder in a blender until it forms a smooth glaze. This will be used as a mop/glaze for the spare ribs.
  • After one hour on the BBQ, brush the spare ribs generously with the glaze and close the lid. Brush them occasionally to ensure the ribs are coated well with the sauce.
  • Let the ribs continue to cook on the BBQ for another hour to a maximum of 1 1/2 hours.
  • Once the ribs are tender, and a skewer can easily pierce the meat without resistance, remove them from the BBQ. Serve them with the sauce and, of course, the beer. Enjoy!